On the Confirmation of Sen. Sessions as Attorney General

It is an affront to ALL Americans to have an individual whose work has sought to impede the rights of everyday people as the nation’s chief law enforcement official.

For Immediate Release:
February 8, 2017
Contact: SaeHee Chun, schun@nakasec.org

NAKASEC and Affiliates Statement on the Senate Confirmation of Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General

The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC), the Korean Resource Center (KRC) and Hana Center are outraged by the confirmation of Senator Jefferson Sessions as the U.S. Attorney General. As an organization committed to advancing civil and human rights, NAKASEC and its affiliates fear Senator Sessions will erode many of the social and racial justice victories vulnerable communities have won over the last fifty years. It is an affront to ALL Americans to have an individual whose work has sought to impede the rights of everyday people as the nation’s chief law enforcement official.

During his more than 40 years in public office, Senator Sessions has consistently demonstrated contempt towards civil rights and our nation’s voting rights laws. In 1986, Senator Sessions was rejected as a federal judge because of his racist treatment of the Black community – infamously prosecuting three Black civil rights organizers essentially for registering Black U.S. citizens to vote. He also has repeatedly spoken out against the federal Voting Rights Act and failed to acknowledge the reality of voter suppression. Ironically, as Attorney General, Jeff Sessions will be charged with enforcing voting rights protections that he has spent his career vehemently opposing and undermining.

As a U.S. Senator, Sessions has maintained a dismal record on social and economic issues. Senator Sessions has:

  • Opposed nearly every common sense and workable immigration bill that has been presented before the Senate, including comprehensive immigration reform and the DREAM Act.
  • Voted against employment discrimination protections and other economic policies that benefit women such as equal pay bills. He also voted against the Violence Against Women Act.
  • Been a leading critic of marriage equality and voiced support for adding a Constitutional amendment that would limit the definition of marriage to heterosexual couples.
  • Opposed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act, which expands protections for victims of crimes motivated by perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

Senator Sessions also is likely to reverse the investment the Department of Justice has made in police accountability over the last eight years. At a time when racially motivated police shootings are finally receiving national attention and communities are calling for creating transformative policies and systems change, Senator Sessions has made it clear that he does not support federal investigations of law enforcement agencies to halt police brutality.

In these increasingly uncertain political times, America is need of leaders who can bridge the divide. At this moment, our nation is in great need of pro-active federal action that protects our basic civil and human rights. NAKASEC, KRC and the Hana Center will vigilantly monitor Senator Sessions activities and we call on Korean and Asian Americans – the fastest growing community of color in the nation – to take action for justice for all communities.

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Image: Gage Skidmore CC BY